Do you have a constant, nagging desire to travel and see everything from the white foamy waves of the ocean to the mountains and pine trees of the forest? Tap into your wanderlust and take a road trip. It’s a great way to take in everything at your own pace with your friends or loved ones. Before you gas up your car and hit the open road, make sure you have all the road trip essentials to make your trip a breeze.
1. Pack the Right Entertainment
The right entertainment is essential for every road trip. After all, you and your family are planning to spend hours or even days in the same confined space together, so you want to make the most of it. Create a fun playlist that everyone can enjoy and put a little of everyone’s favorites on your list. You may even want to take this opportunity to listen to an audio recording of a book you’ve been meaning to read. If you’re taking a family road trip, make sure you pack something fun for the kiddos to do too, such as portable games or DVDs to watch to help curb boredom.
2. An Emergency Kit
One of the worst things that can happen is to end up stranded somewhere without the proper emergency items. That’s why your vehicle should have an emergency kit, especially if you’re planning on traveling long distances or taking a road trip during the winter. Some items to include are a first aid kit, hand sanitizer, road flares, bottles of water, nonperishable food, and jumper cables.
3. Don’t Forget the Snacks
Road tripping can be expensive, especially if you don’t plan properly, and one of the biggest cost savers is packing your own food. Save yourself frequent stops at gas stations or fast food places by packing healthy snacks that won’t weigh you down, such as trail mix, protein bars, fruits and veggies. Packing your own food is one of the best road trip hacks to try and not only can help you save money on your trip, but may even make everyone feel better eating healthy options over greasy, fattening foods.
When you spend hours sitting in the car, you may feel gross or dirty, especially if you have to skip your normal shower routine. Some road trip essentials to make your travels a little more pleasant include dry shampoo, body spray, face cleansing wipes and baby wipes. Packing these extras can make a huge difference and give you the refreshing boost you need to keep going.
It seems like everyone takes credit cards these days, but you shouldn’t take good old-fashioned cash for granted. You may come across toll booths or other small establishments that only take cash, so save yourself some embarrassment and hit the ATM before you go.
Getting lost can make you lose valuable hours of travel time, so be prepared by adding a GPS to your road trip checklist. Remember, while GPS systems are handy, they aren’t fail proof, so grab a paper map as an essential backup just in case.
Your car may have a working heater, but you never know when something might happen that could leave you stranded somewhere or at a hotel without adequate bedding. Pack some pillows and blankets to help make everyone’s road trip more comfortable.
We live in a digital world, and our phones have become an essential part of our lives. Pack some extra chargers for your trip so you aren’t left with a dead battery. Portable chargers can also come in handy for those times when you drain your battery from snapping pics all day and don’t have easy access to an outlet.
9. A Plan
Unless you’re planning on letting your tires lead you wherever the road goes, chances are you’ll want to create a plan ahead of time to maximize your road trip. Before you leave, plot out where you want to go each day while taking rest stops into consideration. Having a plan in place can make your trip more relaxing and efficient.
10. Great Company
Having the right people with you can make the difference between a horrible time and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Bring the right people along who share your love of travel and be prepared to make great memories.
Next time you plan a road trip, consider these must-haves. With these road trip essentials in your car, you’ll be ready to hit the road and make lasting memories.